GhanaMyles H. Hoenig's letter, Nov. 20, regarding...


November 30, 1994


Myles H. Hoenig's letter, Nov. 20, regarding statements I made on Ghana, argues that it is "ludicrous" and "irresponsible" to describe the regime of Ghanaian President J. J. Rawlings as repressive or authoritarian.

I offer the following points to further support my claim:

* According to Freedom House, a New York-based human rights organization, political liberties are on the decline in Ghana, and the general trend toward freedom is diminishing.

* Officials at Amnesty International claim there continue to exist military and other security forces which operate above the law.

* I recently spoke with a Ghanaian journalist who stated that each time he writes an article critical of the Rawlings regime, a member of his family is harassed in some manner.

* The notorious National Investigation Bureau was created and perpetuated to persecute known opponents of the Rawlings regime among the business community. Recently, Rawlings used this bureau to launch a scathing attack on several very successful industrialists who had criticized his rule.

* Hoenig cites a representative parliament as evidence that Ghana is free of political repression. He fails to point out that almost 200 parliamentarians are former revolutionary cadres of the military regime.

Opposition political parties boycotted the parliamentary elections because of evidence of massive fraud in the presidential elections.

In addition, President Rawlings' cabinet is composed of former members of the revolutionary Provisional National Defense Council.

Clearly, there is more wrong today in Ghana than "politics which offend our sensibilities."

Hoenig is correct in asserting that little is known [in the U.S.] about present-day Ghana. However, we should not overlook existing human rights violations because of the nation's recent economic prosperity and the likelihood of American businessmen cashing in on it.

Peter Kosciewicz


Cynical Press

Well, here we go again.

The election was not even certified, and Barry Rascovar's political pundit comparison between Frances Glendening and Hillary Clinton (Nov. 20) started a new and unfair, cynical press observation.

Yes, Mrs. Glendening is taking a lead role in the governor-elect's transition, but unlike Mrs. Clinton the governor has also asked Jim Brady to take a major co-chair role in the transition.

Mr. Brady is a Baltimore business leader and tireless volunteer to the cause of responsible economic development and efficient government. Francie Glendening, for those of us who have worked with her and in my case gone to graduate school together, is a worker to promote good government and a unabashed supporter of her husband.

She also has the capacity to be fair-minded and understands that for the new administration to achieve the vision set forth by the governor-elect during the campaign demands a high caliber of men and women who will manage state government.

If Mr. Rascovar would spend time researching the new governor's style while in local government, he'd find a history of inclusion for many people, including his wife, over his 12-year year tenure, and the county gained respect by this style.

Let's judge others by actions and accomplishments, not by cheap political inference.

Edwin S. Crawford


Negative Attitude

In David Hess' article Nov. 11 in The Sun, "Tax panel's new GOP chief seeks $190 billion in cuts," the sub-headline states that the "biggest winners would be wealthy."

Why are the media still carrying the negative attitude of the beaten Democratic Party?

In the first paragraph, Mr. Hess states that families with children and the elderly also are affected.

Why not use that as a headline? It just hurts too much to admit that the negative rhetoric of the campaign is what got the Democrats soundly beaten in almost all venues . . .

C. D. Wilmer


No Sanity Clause

The recently announced "Contract with America" as outlined by the Republican Party brings to mind the eternal truth revealed many years ago by the Marx Brothers in "A Night At The Opera."

The exchange took place between Driftwood (Groucho) and Forelo (Chico) in their negotiation over a contract.

Forelo: Hey, wait -- wait! What does this say here? This thing here?

Driftwood: Oh, that? Oh, that's the usual clause. That's in every contract. That just says -- uh -- it says -- uh -- if any of the parties participating in this contract is shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.

Forelo: Well, I don't know.

Driftwood: It's all right. That's -- that's in every contract. That's -- that's what they call a sanity clause.

Forelo: Oh, no. You can't fool me. There ain't no Sanity Clause!

Newt take note.

M. Sigmund Shapiro


Life in Town

I live my life backward. I live in Baltimore City and work in Baltimore County.

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